So how many generic Indian restaurants have there to be in the world to give Indian cuisine such a bad rap? Indian cuisine can be very healthy and innovative and traditional, the way it is cooked in India and in homes, and in a handful of restaurants around the world. For the rest, the world has to settle with what I call the ' paneer, naan, chicken tikka' cuisine that has nothing to do with Indian cooking. It is even difficult to recognize Indian dishes in these restaurants.
Gurkha claims to be a Nepali restaurant, but I did not notice any traditional Nepali dishes except momos as a starter. Gurkha is owned by a Nepali Gurkha and that is the only claim to fame as a Nepali restaurant, similar to the Indian restaurants in the UK and the USA that are owned by Bangladeshis but have nothing to do with Bangladeshi cuisine. The fact of the matter is that these sub-continent restaurants can survive only because of the 'popularity' of chicken tikka masala. If they do not offer that, they will be dead in the water.
This was the third Indian restaurant I tried in Sofia, and they have all been uniformly bad. And they are all uniformly expensive by Sofia standards. And in all of them, the various Indian breads taste exactly the same, as do all the dishes because they are all made with a generous dose of onions and tomatoes and just a sprinkling of the main ingredient, e.g. I ordered the baingan bharta, and I could hardly detect any baingan. It was just a mish mash of tomatoes and onions.
Good luck to all the gullible Westerners who flock to these restaurants to get their dose of 'Indian cuisine'!
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